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CHUCK: “Chuck Versus the Bullet Train” – RECAP
I had a bit of weird feeling regarding “Chuck Versus the Bullet Train.” For the first time ever, I experienced an episode of TV that had two pretty annoying plot points that ended up fixing themselves in pretty great ways. That doesn’t happen too often. Usually when a series makes a mistake in the story, you feel that ripple effect for the rest of the episode, or maybe even the season/series if it’s a particularly big mistake. Yet somehow, Chuck managed to steer the story back on course and ended things in a truly exciting, and terrifying, way. The pieces are now all set up for next week’s two-hour finale.
For the third week in a row, Chuck featured a story involving Jeff and Lester attempting to figure out the secrets of the Buy More. Third week in a row. I would hardly call that original storytelling. Thankfully they figure things out a lot quicker than the other weeks when they discover Alex being taken away at gunpoint early in the episode. Later on, after Morgan and Awesome are taken captive as well, they become the only two people who can save the day, and Casey asks them to do just that. Suddenly, what began as a plot rehash turned into a pretty huge win for Jeffster. Seeing Lester pimped out with body armor and a several fine weapons, including a Gatling gun, while “Oh Canada” was playing was brilliant. The only thing that could top it was Jeff and his flamethrower. This was pleasing. And the spies let them keep their memories this time and even gave them a few minutes to run around Castle and see what they’ve been missing out on.
The second aggrievance I had was Sarah’s use of the Intersect. I was totally on board with her having it, and I still am, but her use of it did not mesh with her character at all. Throughout the series we’ve come to know Sarah as a totally badass woman capable of handling her self in the most extreme of circumstances. Are we really to believe she used the Intersect more than Morgan did? Morgan used it three times a day while Sarah used 40 times in two days. Sarah is an accomplished spy. Why is she using the Intersect so much when she knows a lot of its skills already? She doesn’t need to use it to fight; she’s already an incredible fighter. She speaks other languages, why does she need to use it to translate Japanese? It just didn’t add up that she would abuse it like that. Although, I liked the quick conversation she had with Chuck about how awesome it is.
Things sort of fixed themselves right at the end when Quinn captures Sarah. He takes her to some hideout and forces her to flash over and over (this sounds so wrong), quickly causing her to lose her memory. Quinn then dumps her in her old apartment and approaches her saying he’s her handler and her next mission is to kill Chuck Bartowski, effectively setting Sarah up as the final bad guy. That’s a crazy twist if I ever saw one. Forcing Chuck to fight his wife is heavy and a big risk. I hope it works out.
So despite some serious set backs, I ended up really enjoying “Versus the Bullet Train.” Sure Sarah acted out of character and what have you, but when you take everything as a whole it all worked out for the best. And there was some pretty spectacular things happening outside of Sarah and Jeffster’s stories. Casey’s behavior fit him like a glove. He has grown so much as a character, probably more than anyone else. He has a daughter he cares about now and the show demonstrated that perfectly. Now if only everyone else acted exactly the way they’re supposed to.